The 2019 Mid-Year Commencement Ceremony will have an estimated 1,100 participants.

The 2019 Mid-Year Commencement Ceremony is set for Dec. 21 at the Stan Sheriff Center. Whether you are graduating or seeing someone receive their degree, here are some things to keep in mind for the ceremony and events thereafter. 

General information 

The commencement ceremony is set to begin at 9 a.m., and estimated to conclude at 11:30 a.m. Degree candidates will meet at the Security Entrance of Stan Sheriff Center. The event is free and open to the public. The keynote speaker is U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono and the student speaker is Josh Claudio, a graduating senior majoring in electrical engineering. The lei ceremonies will be held at the Clarence T.C. Ching and Les Murakami Baseball Stadium fields. The ceremony will be live broadcasted online at The stream will be available for viewing for several months after the ceremony. 

Transportation: parking, Rainbow Shuttle services and more 

Campus parking will be free on the day of commencement, but stalls are limited. Due to this and possible increased traffic, guests are encouraged to carpool. The areas behind the Stan Sheriff Center and around the Les Murakami Baseball Stadium are restricted for parking. Stalls near student housing are for permit holders and guests are not allowed to park in reserved parking spaces. Areas near the ROTC buildings are reserved. The road from the Wai‘alae gate entrance to the Stan Sheriff Center will be closed before and during the ceremony. 

The lower campus parking structure will open at 5 a.m., but is expected to fill quickly. Accessible parking spaces are available on the third floor of the Diamond Head side and throughout the Ewa side of the structure. Attendants are able to give directions to these spaces. 

When stalls are no longer available, drivers will be directed to park in other lots around campus. 

Shuttle services will be provided from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Shuttles are wheelchair accessible and run from the Biomedical Science Building to Krauss Circle. The route stops at the following areas: Biomedical Science Building near Sherman Laboratory, Moore Hall, Kennedy Theatre, the Physical Science Building, Art Building, Krauss Circle, Kuykendall Hall, Watanabe Hall, Jefferson Hall and the Center for Korean Studies. 

These stops are marked with “Rainbow Shuttle Stop” signs. Those wanting a return trip may board at Krauss Circle. 

The designated passenger drop-off area is on the ground floor between the lower campus parking structure and the Athletic Complex. This area will close when the structure fills up and/or during exiting. Signs will direct drivers to this area. The secondary designated passenger drop-off area is located at the Bachman Hall parking lot; the entrance is from University Ave. Guests and students arriving via taxi may also be dropped off and picked up from here.

The ADA passenger drop-off and pick-up area will be behind the Les Murakami Baseball Stadium in Zone 18. Passengers may not be dropped off in the restricted parking area behind Stan Sheriff.

Post-ceremony, there will be a passenger pick-up area on the first base side of the Les Murakami Baseball Stadium. 

Entering Stan Sheriff Center 

Entrances at Gates A and B will open at 7:45 a.m. Seating is open to the public and on a first-come, first-served basis. For security and safety reasons, large signs, balloons and strollers are not permitted. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early, as Stan Sheriff will close once it reaches maximum capacity. Guests are restricted to the general seating areas and not allowed to sit on the arena floor; the floor is reserved for graduates. 

Those with mobility needs can enter the arena using the elevators located in the parking structure and the Athletics Complex. You will arrive on the mezzanine level of the main concourse once you enter the arena. The seats around this concourse are reserved for persons with disabilities. Ushers will be able to assist guests as needed. The university advises that those who need wheelchairs make arrangements prior to Commencement, as it does not provide them. 

Programs will be distributed upon venue entry. Graduates will have their own copies given at their seats. Large-type programs are available and may be requested from an usher. Electronic copies will be available on the commencement home page as the ceremony date comes closer. 

During the ceremony 

Attendees are allowed to take photos and record videos from their seats. A photographer will also be taking pictures of graduates as they go up on stage. After commencement, graduates will receive an email from the photographer with a link to view their photos. Interested parties may order additional pictures at this time. 

A sign language interpreter will be positioned on stage and be visible on the Jumbotron. Although they will not interpret individual student recognitions, they will interpret the beginning remarks to the commencement address and the closing remarks. 

Post-commencement business: lei-ing the graduates 

Once the commencement ceremony has concluded, guests can meet their graduates by the appropriate alphabetical signs posted around the athletics fields. Those with last names starting with A to K will be on the Clarence T.C. Ching field. Last names starting with L to Z will be stationed at the Les Murakami Baseball Stadium field. Commencement programs will have maps to help attendees find the correct location to meet their graduate. Guests with special needs might consider meeting their graduate at a location closer to Stan Sheriff. 

UH Mānoa encourages families to assist in its sustainability efforts by using reusable bags and leaving plastic lei containers elsewhere to help reduce the amount of trash that builds up in the garbage cans. Those who need leis may purchase some from various vendors that will be located on the Clarence T.C. Ching field the day of commencement.

Attendees may want to keep an eye on the time, as they will be asked to clear the fields at 12:30 p.m.

Opinions Editor, Co-managing Editor

Kailanianna is Ka Leo O Hawai'i's Opinions Editor. She was born and raised on O'ahu, and is of Palauan, Chamorro and Filipino descent. Kailanianna is in her senior year, majoring in Anthropology and pursuing certificates in Korean and Ethnic Studies.